Formosa Bistro Taiwanese Restaurant, Edmonton, AB

Formosa Bistro was rated as one of the Best New Restaurants in Edmonton 2018

I’ve been itching to try Formosa Bistro, a Taiwanese cuisine that opened on Edmonton’s south side about one year ago.

My trigger point was a few weeks ago, when CBC Radio One’s morning show was featuring a panel discussion of the various food reviewers’ favourite dishes and restaurants they’d dined at in 2018.

Formosa Bistro’s name came up a number of times; one reviewer said it was her favourite new restaurant in Edmonton, and a number of commentators proclaimed that Formosa Bistro’s signature dish, Popcorn Chicken, ‘was to die for.’  Of course, I HAD to sample it.

Formosa Bistro is located at 34th Avenue and 93rd Street NW.  It’s in a strip mall, easy to find and parking is plentiful.

We stopped in for a late lunch at 1:00 PM on a Thursday, and the restaurant was empty.  The interior decor of the restaurant is pleasingly modern, clean and welcoming.

Our server asked if we’d been to the restaurant before and we replied we had not.  She patiently gave us highlights of their menu, pointing out their most popular dishes, their Popcorn Chicken signature dish, as well as the daily special.

Popcorn Chicken is one of Formosa Bistro’s signature dishes ($10.99, Large)

Naturally, daughter Jenn and I ordered the Popcorn Chicken ($10.99, Large).  While Jenn liked the Popcorn Chicken, I was less than enthusiastic.  Bite-size pieces of chicken are (I think) dredged in flour mixed with some spices; I’m guessing garlic, then deep fried.  A small portion of pickled carrot and radish serve as a light, fresh, palate-cleansing garnish.

The flavour and texture of the chicken reminds me of how Dried Pork Ribs were cooked in our family restaurant in Calgary, so the chicken experience wasn’t new or a surprise to me.  Still, when I return to Formosa Bistro (and I will) with friends, we’ll order it so others can try it.

Braised Pork on Rice, $9.99

Our second dish was a delicious Braised Pork on Rice ($9.99.)  This one really suits my palate.  The braised pork is slightly fatty and the sauce gives the rice a rich, slightly ‘heavy’ mouth feel.  A halved hard boiled egg is the garnish, and this dish really reminds me of the Chinese-style dishes I grew up with.  For me, the Braised Pork on Rice is my perfect comfort food.  🙂  Of our trio of dishes, this one was my favourite.

Stewed Beef Shank on Noodles ($15.99), with Bok Choy, Carrots and Green Onions (Medium spicy)

Our final dish was the Stewed Beef Shank on Noodle ($15.99), which comes with a ‘side’ of clear broth soup with radish and carrot.

Clear broth soup with radish and carrots

Our server asked how spicy we wanted, so we guessed and asked for ‘Medium’ heat.

Garnish for the Beef Shank on Noodle

When this dish arrived, it came with a small plate of mildly flavoured, cooked vegetables which we were instructed to stir into the noodles.  The ‘Medium’ spicy heat we had asked for suit our North American tastes perfectly, with just a hint of heat.

I didn’t recognize the flavour profile of this noodle dish.  While it was savoury and with a hint of spice heat, there was a definite sweet note to the sauce.  Garnished with Bok Choy, carrots and green onions, the Stewed Beef Noodle was the most ‘different’ dish of the trio, and I’m guessing definitely a Taiwanese-style plate – not the Cantonese-style Chinese food of my youth.

All in all, I really liked the dining experience.  The ambiance is clean and modern, the food somewhat familiar (that’s the Chinese influence) and yet, dishes like the Popcorn Chicken and Beef Noodle put a slightly different regional – Taiwanese – twist on the cuisine.

Formosa Bistro is a fine addition to the dining scene in Edmonton.  It adds yet another ethnic variation to the incredibly diverse range of fine eateries in the city.  I shall return.

Formosa Bistro Taiwanese Restaurant:  9314-34th Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB.; Tel.:  780-503-0110.  Monday – Closed; Tues-Thurs 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM/5:00 PM – 9:00 PM; Fri-Sun 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM.




One Comment

  1. YU CHEN LEE says:

    Thank you for enjoying our food!! Welcome back! :>

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